On Excuses and Evasions in Cultivation
For a certain period of time, I had the feeling of being separated from Dafa, rather than of melting into Dafa. What obstacle was between Dafa and me? In Dafa cultivation I should have been clear minded, rational and wise. But why did I always have such a feeling? I know it is the right time to carefully look inward now, and to:
"strengthen your righteous thought by resting your mind and looking into yourself, and make further advancement in cultivation with a clear awareness of your shortcomings" (Provisional translation subject to further improvement)" (Hong Yin II).
1. Dafa is the starting point of our cultivation, rather than an excuse for our improper behavior
As a cultivator, we do everything in accordance with the requirements of Dafa. That is to say, we should know very well that we are Dafa practitioners when we try to do anything, rather than wonder after we have done something if our behavior complied with Dafa. If we fail to do so, it may be that we are quoting Dafa in order to find excuses for behavior that resulted from our attachments.
Take myself as an example. I was too lazy to do the Dafa exercises. I knew very well that it was wrong to do no Dafa exercises, but I found an excuse for it: Dafa exercises only transform my original body, but in the end I will abandon my original body. Anyway, not every practitioner is supposed to attain consummation with their original body transformed. It was this perception that prevented me from making a breakthrough in my problem of not doing the Dafa exercises.
"The evil beings look specifically for your thoughts that contain attachments in order to strengthen them and achieve their aim of taking control. After being used by demons, these people 'enlighten' along an evil path but still think that they're right, and look in the Fa for excuses by taking things out of context to defend themselves. " (Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference in 2001).
No one had ever pointed out to me that it was a false understanding. However, at least regarding doing the exercises, I knew the evil elements had used the loopholes in my mind and even took control over me for a certain period because of my attachment. So our repeated efforts to find out if we have been right in doing something is definitely a manifestation of the attachments which we try to cover up. Otherwise, if we genuinely take Dafa as our starting point, we will know naturally what to do. If we knew naturally, why did we have to think over these problems again and again?
2. To get attached to superficial things or to genuinely ascend?
When we use Dafa to find excuses for our behavior, we are definitely trying to show that we are right, but that means we are only superficially trying to show we are right. In the eyes of the gods, they do not care about right or wrong. What they really care about is our Xinxing, which is manifested through what we do.
"As I said, superficial changes are for others to see. Whether or not you can be saved depends on the change and ascension of your own heart. If change does not occur there, you cannot improve and nothing can be achieved. ( "Dafa Cannot be Used" from Essentials for Further Advancement I)
When something happens, we may remain superficially peaceful, but in our minds we may have attachments that run rampant. In some cases, we know it is a Xinxing test, but we still argue with others, while in our minds we say to ourselves, "I am not being attached. I just can not help arguing." But why do we argue if we are not attached? Doesn't the fact that we argue with others mean we are attached?
3. See through our attachments and never go to extremes
For a period of time, I was unemployed because I was persecuted. As a result, I became inactive and did not want to do anything. A job seemed to be unimportant to me, so I did not look for a new job and was reluctant to talk about my job with others. I just thought that they have no way to understand cultivators. Thus, although I had more time for cultivation than before, I failed to attain a better status in my cultivation. On the contrary, I became more and more reluctant to directly deal with other people who were not cultivators. Later, some fellow practitioners reminded me of these problems. I then looked inward with care. I found many attachments in my mind: I was attached to the time when the Fa rectification would end; I feared to work hard; I was attached to doing things in Dafa and was dependent on others. After I found these problems, I actively tried to find a job.
"What you're doing today is establishing things for the future, and that's how this path should go. This is the most upright path and what cultivators of the future will follow, so you can't behave in an extreme way at all or go to any extremes, as that would create unnecessary obstacles and trouble for yourselves." (Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference in 2004).
In fact, all of us know very well that when any problem occurs in our cultivation it is no more than a manifestation of our human minds. We are cultivators because we try to fix these problems. On the contrary, if we try to cover these problems up, they will in turn cover our wisdom.
The above is only my own understanding. Please kindly point out anything improper.